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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Summer’s LBD - Umpteen Ways

Hello my lovelies, how are you?
Hope all is as well as can be expected and hoped for. 
Here, life at this time of year is full and fun and you find me in my summer holding pattern, fitting in blogs where I can.

So  lets talk about summer LBDs today.
 I do like an LBD.  For ease of wear and an instant fix of style and elegance with little effort required.  My type of outfit.  I've posted on LBDs many times and through the seasons, like 
in summers past.

I recently stumbled upon a wonderful stash of old businesswear bought in the summer of 2002.   Stuff I don't really wear in retirement but which I cannot bear to part with is as I love each single piece and each single piece cost me a bloomin' small fortune, back in my former life.   Naturally in amongst the pile the carefully stored choice pieces was an LBD.

And thus I was reunited with this simple but stylish black linen lined sheath/shift dress from East.  I set upon seeing how I could wear it in retirement with some more casual styling, something I would never have done when I was wearing it solidly through my working summers.  Back then it was teamed with stilettos, little jackets and real jewellery. 

So here's the more casual makeover I gave my summer LBD.

Tan accessories always tone down an LBD and bring a casual vibe to the piece.
I would say this was my favourite and most successful styling, so if you want to close down this page now, please do, my work is done!

Little cold sandals and bag are fine tor a dinner date, but not really how I want to make this dress work for me in the life I lead now.

Sludgy tones in this silk scarf make it a wearable option for my now.

Noooo, a gauzy gold shawl and sandals does NOT make this dress casual!!!

Yes, you're back on track, Pout - a summer hat and silver sandals DO lend a casual vibe to the LBD.

OK I just couldn't resist this ... a 60s headscarf!  I see this as a Jackie Onassis sightseeing look, do you?

A pout is a good accessory ,,, but NOT that gold bag, Pout!

This is where I need to be.  Tan tan tan.  And hats. 

And yes, this hat below worked too.

And ivory and red work so well with the LBD for a Lady Who Lunches look.
I bought the little ivory crochet hat in San Francisco whilst on a business trip and on a July day when the weather changed the weather from rainy to hot in a few short hours.  So it's exactly 20 years old.  🎶 Happy birthday 🎵, little hat!
TP's view on the hat?  "It looks like you have a pancake on your head."  But I think he's wrong, do you too?  It's cute.

So to casualise a summer LBD, I can see that tan is the big winner here.  Summer hats and sandals work.  Straw bags work.

Adding a scarf always works, IMHO.

And back to that 60s headscarf  - it works, if you're into ageing film star glamour!

By this time the poor photographer had been through a huge amount of accessory changes, and "the carrot" I have him was that he could choose what I wore that evening.  So when he saw the addition of a white print linen shirt from my 2002 stash he said ...

"That's what I want you to wear for our dinner date!"  But on reflection I guess he may have thought this would stop the interminable accessorising and his snapping duty would end so maybe this wasn't really his fave, just an easy get out of jail card!

And on that bombshell, let's summarise what can be done with a summer linen LBD.

On its own, worn simply with no jewellery and silver sandals, creates easy casual elegance.


Hat with black polka trim, tan bag and wedge espadrilles works.
Oh change of mind, this is my fave look - now aren't you glad you stayed with me?!!


Biting on sunglasses creates more Hollywood glamour but that is not the point of this little exercise!

Throwing a wild card into the beauty parade, an embellished cardi and toning glitzy belt is a nice look and is something I'd wear on amother date night, but it's slightly outside of my casualising the LBD remit, so let's move swiftly on.

Yes I did go a little totally off-piste with diaphanous shawls.

And yes, headscarves were a step outside my remit too,
but I think I mostly stayed on track and achieved what I set out to do.  Work a posher LBD into my summer-casual wardrobe.

How are you on summer LBDs?
Do they fit into your more casual lifestyle?
What time do you have to make businesswear retirementwear?

A la perchoine,
Mary x,